Both self-driving cars and delivery robots must demonstrate that they are safe in dynamic environments to earn public trust. Autoliv Inc. today said that it is collaborating with Nuro Inc. to provide safety systems for Nuro's third-generation, production-grade autonomous delivery vehicles.
“In the coming years, we intend to go from an industry leader to a true industry transformer, not just by leading, but also by setting the trends in our industry,” stated Mikael Bratt, president and CEO of Autoliv. “The airbag technology developed for Nuro's autonomous delivery vehicles illustrate a new generation of traffic safety, designed to protect vulnerable road users.”
Stockholm, Sweden-based Autoliv develops, manufactures, and markets protective systems such as airbags, seatbelts, and steering wheels for all major automakers. The company also offers mobility safety products, such as pedestrian protection, connected services, and systems for riders of powered two-wheelers.
In 2021, Autoliv claimed that its products saved close to 35,000 lives and prevented more than 300,000 severe injuries. It has more than 60,000 associates in 27 countries, as well as 14 technical centers and 20 test tracks. The automotive supplier said its sales in 2021 totaled $8.2 billion (U.S.).
Autoliv develops protections for multi-modal transport
Pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists account for more than half of the world's 1.35 million traffic fatalities every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Autoliv said that its airbags for autonomous vehicles position it to be a global leader in mobility safety.
Autoliv's Mobility Safety Solutions (MSS) unit develops products and services for businesses adjacent to the company's core products of airbags, steering wheels, and seatbelts for light vehicles.
“Autoliv's collaboration with Nuro is an excellent example of how we are now combining our core competence and solid industry experience with the development of products for new markets,” said Per Lindeberg, vice president of mobility safety solutions at Autoliv. “By combining our competence and solid industry experience with the development of products for new markets, we can save even more lives.”
Nuro to scale autonomous delivery
Nuro said its third-generation vehicle, also called Nuro, is intended to scale its safe, environmentally sustainable, and convenient delivery services to millions of people.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based startup claimed that it was first company to receive approval for a self-driving vehicle exemption from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Nuro added that it was the first company to receive a deployment permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles, enabling it to launch the first commercial autonomous vehicle service in the state.
The latest zero-occupant Nuro features an exterior airbag by Autoliv, which covers the front of the vehicle when inflated to protect other road users. Other safety features include cameras, radars, lidar, and thermal sensors.
“Safety is one of the core reasons we founded Nuro and remains our top priority,” said Jiajun Zhu, co-founder and CEO of Nuro. “We are thrilled to collaborate with safety leaders like Autoliv to bring one of the first external airbags of its kind to the U.S.”
In addition, Nuro's fully electric, zero-emission vehicles are designed for a full day of operation from a single charge. The company said it uses 100% renewable energy for all vehicle charging and facilities from wind farms in Texas.
Nuro has piloted delivery vehicles with FedEx and 7-Eleven, among others. Last year, it announced plans to open testing and manufacturing facilities in Nevada and raised $600 million in Series D funding.
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